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Life Inside the Infertility Bubble (And Taking a Break From “Trying”)

Some days you just feel like sticking your head in here... Credit: ConspiracyofHappiness

Some days you just feel like sticking your head in here… Credit: ConspiracyofHappiness

So it’s been awhile, eh? Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report on my infertility journey. In fact, in a lot of ways, my life has gone back to “normal.” Well, as normal as it can be after coming to grips with the fact that making babies isn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped when I was seven and picking out what Ken doll I’d marry and how many plastic babies I’d pop out.

After a final no-luck IUI this past fall, my husband, doctor and I all agreed: it was time to get serious about this fertility business. It was time to see a specialist…or do acupuncture…or…well, live life again.

For those who have never been through it, it’s hard to explain, but dealing with infertility is like being in a bubble. A really sensitive bubble that goes with you everywhere. If you’re not careful, it can start to seep into your self confidence, your self-worth and your day-to-day mood. It’s easy to begin to see everything through the infertility bubble, where the only thing that matters is your ability to reproduce. And since you can’t when you want to, you feel not right, not normal, not—as dramatic as it sounds—worthy of being a mother. Other people’s kids and pregnancies no longer are about them or the miracle of life; they’re about you and your inability to reproduce. Even with good friends and support, it can be a lonely jacked-up head space.

Which is why my husband and I are taking a number of months off from the whole “getting pregnant” thing. Yes, I have a big work project as kind of an excuse why months from now won’t be a good time for me to have a baby—but is there ever a perfect time to give birth? I think not. More or less, I’ve just needed a break from the treatments and the pills and the stress and the pressure. (Except for some OvaBoost, which I’m taking with my usual supplements.)

I needed time to remind myself of all the other ways that I actually am fertile—I definitely have a fertile mind when it comes to being creative, writing, cooking and even working out. I needed to take the focus off of what I don’t have and focus on what I do have. Many say that “not trying” usually leads to getting pregnant, but I brush that off. Not because I don’t believe it or want it, but because, well, I’ve learned that having strong expectations impedes enjoying the natural flow of life.

When it feels right, we might do some acupuncture (I have already found a gal I like and trust) or we might go see a fertility specialist about IVF or look into adoption. But for now, the only thing that feels good is getting back to everyday life sans the infertility bubble. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. Unlike other times when I felt like I was taking time off just to stick my head in the sand about everything, this time it feels different. I still have bad days every now and again, but on the whole, this break just feels right. And so very necessary.

Anyone else felt the infertility bubble? Trusted your intuition as to when it was time to try this or not try that?  —Jenn

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  1. Sasha says:

    HUGS! Thank you for sharing your journey so I don’t feel so alone in mine! No doubt, it stinks, but it’s just nice to know I’m not the only one dealing with the anguish and having to find peace and wholeness in my life without a baby necessarily being part of that picture (since most likely it won’t happen for me). My best wishes to you and heartfelt appreciation for your honesty.

  2. Michelle says:

    I have been in this bubble but rather than beat myself up over what i couldn’t do on my own and instead chose to dive right in and work with my specialist to do whatever I could to reach my goal. After complications from the infertility medication, an early term miscarriage, and finally a successful embryo transfer, I am now 30 days away from the birth of my first child.

  3. Sarah says:

    Your attitude is amazing, Jenn. As someone who hasn’t had infertility struggles myself but has been close to many who have, I still never know quite what to say except that my heart goes out to you and I wish you all the best.

    You do SO MUCH GOOD for so many women through this site and FBG, and I hope you know it!!!

  4. Jessica says:

    Jenn, I think your comment about recognizing your own fertility in all the other things you create and do in your life is right on. I know I can’t relate to the struggles of infertility, but I can relate to the feeling of looking around and feeling like I’m not normal because I can’t do something that everyone else around me seems to be doing so easily, like losing the pregnancy weight, or accoplishing something at work, or even keeping my life organized. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at my husband feeling like a complete failure at one thing or another and said, “Why is this so hard for me and so easy for everyone else?” And the answer is really that it’s not easy for *everyone* else. And the important thing to remember is to focus on all of our successes and accomplishments. I think it’s hard for perfectionists to accept that there are just going to be some things we aren’t good at or have no control over, but getting closer and closer to coming to grips with that will make our lives so much richer and happier.

  5. Maru says:

    Thank you sooo much for writing about it, I’m exactly where you are… Just went through a horribly sad failed iui and decided to take a break, mainly because I couldn’t handle it emotionally any more. Our next step will be ivf, in a couple of months when I feel ready to start that adventure. Also everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant lately… And so easily! It’s not that I’m not happy for them it’s just I’m sad about not being able to be there myself (sounds pretty selfish I know which only makes me feel worse). Having to talk about it with other people is pretty hard as well – and everyone wants to know when you’re going to have kids (if only it were up to me!).
    Anyways just wanted to say – you’re not alone and thank you for letting me know I’m not either.

  6. Jenn says:

    Ya’ll rock. Thank you for the incredibly kind and supportive comments. If sharing my experience helps anyone feel better it’s totally worth it. 🙂

    And for those going through it, we are so not alone.

    —FBG Jenn

  7. Jen says:

    I completely understand. I’ve been coming back to this forum for a long time now it seems, waiting to see what other advice you could offer, and when I didn’t see any updates I knew that either you decided to step out for a while or it finally did happen! I found this blog very comforting. Comforting to know that there are others out there that we can share with. “Fertile” people just don’t understand the need, the yearning, the want, the suffering. They simply DON’T. They don’t understand when you remove yourself for the conversations about babies and pregnancies, they don’t understand the hidden tears when you go to showers, they don’t understand the resentment. I hate to say it, but I have resented others for being able to get pregnant and have their happy family. I still have those moments. I get very angry and withdrawn. I wish you ALL the luck in the world on your journey. I will still keep this blog in my favorites to check on it every now and again, but I understand the exhaustion. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

  8. Kelsey says:

    Good luck on your journey Jenn. Though I’m not in your same situation, I have to take extra steps to get pregnant and it is a little frustrating when you see all your friends getting pregnant and you know that it’s not that easy for you.

    Reading your story and seeing your attitude certainly helps me knowing I’m not alone either.

    I wish you the best!

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